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Archive for the ‘Florida Youth Shine’ Category

Florida Foster Child Abuse Lawyer Howard Talenfeld Receives UM Law Alumni Achievement Award

More than 150 local attorneys and officials were in attendance this week to celebrate the awarding of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award to Howard M. Talenfeld. A leading Florida foster care abuse attorney and life-long advocate for children’s rights, Talenfeld was recognized for his tireless efforts on behalf of society’s most vulnerable citizens.

The award was presented by Fort Lauderdale attorney and 2015 award recipient Bruce Lyons, Miami attorney and president of the Law Alumni Association Edward R. Shohat, and University of Miami School of Law Dean Patricia D. White.

“Howard was a natural for this award. We’re very proud of his pioneering work for children’s causes,” said Shohat. “The association represents over 30,000 alumni around the world, and Howard is an excellent ambassador for the school.”

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Fort Lauderdale Event to Celebrate Florida’s Foster Children and Advocates

This Thursday, dedicated South Florida child advocates who fight to protect the state’s most vulnerable foster children and at-risk kids will gather for the Broward Child Advocacy Awards & Reception supporting Florida’s Children First, the state’s leading child advocacy organization.

The event will be held at The Riverside Hotel (620 East Las Olas Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, 33301) on Thursday, February 25 from 5:30pm- 7:30pm.

Register here. Sponsorships are still available.

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Success Stories of Florida Youth Shine’s Former Foster Children

February 19th, 2016   No Comments   Adoption, Advocacy, Florida Youth Shine

In its 10 years serving Florida’s at-risk foster children, Florida Youth Shine has helped thousands of current and former foster children find their way – and serve as examples for other kids going through the state child welfare system. One such success story is Janice Goldsberry.

Janice with FYSNow 22 years old, Janice was in foster care for 11 years, from the age of 7 until she “aged out” at 18. She was often separated from her two siblings, had been in 15 homes that she can recall, 11 middle and high schools, and was the victim of the emotional trauma common to foster children.

Though her feelings of emotional neglect and depression continue, Janice still is a success story.

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Florida’s Children First to Honor ‘Youth Advocate of the Year’ on Feb. 26 in Fort Lauderdale

Tiervondria “Tia” McCall is an amazing, and inspiring young lady, even though she struggled with stability and safety for most of her life. She will be honored as the Youth Advocate of the Year at the Florida’s Children First Broward Child Advocacy Awards & Reception. The event will be held Thursday, February 25, 2016, from 5:30pm- 7:30pm at The Riverside Hotel (620 East Las Olas Blvd.) in Fort Lauderdale.

Click here to register or learn more.

Tia and her brother lived with her mother and stepdad until the age of eight. After her stepdad died she was separated from her brother but eventually reunited in the care of her brother’s grandmother, until the age of 17.

Throughout this time, Tia suffered from verbal and physical abuse often witnessing drug use in her home. She could have easily taken the wrong path but she focused her time and effort working hard in school for a better life for herself and her younger brother.

Today, she is the model of success. For the past five years, Tia has grown to be an amazing leader in Florida Youth SHINE, having become the youngest president of a Florida Youth SHINE chapter at age 15. She has served as President of the Broward chapter for the past three years and has lead, recruited and impacted youth around the state.

She is now 18 years old, a freshman at Broward College studying Criminal Justice, works part-time and interns at Florida’s Children First.

Join Tia and other honorees who do so much for Florida’s abuse and injured children. Honorees include Champion for Children Dr. Frederick Lippman; and Child Advocates of the Year Stuart Singer & Carl Goldfarb with law firm Boise Schiller & Flexner.

Florida Youth Shine Reaches 10 Year Milestone

Florida’s Children First (FCF) proudly celebrates 10 years of Florida Youth SHINE Advocacy! After FCF was established in 2002, Florida Youth SHINE was formed so that foster children could tell their stories and advocate for legislative change.

For the past ten years Florida Youth SHINE, a statewide organization now consisting of more than 200 former and current foster children, has been advocating around the state and in the Florida Legislature, for positive change to the system of care by using their experience and stories. In 2005, Florida’s Children First, a statewide group of child advocates (www.floridaschildrenfirst.org)  created Florida Youth SHINE because it believed that the youth are the experts and when making decisions about youth and it is critical to have a youth voice at the table. Florida Youth SHINE empowers their members to identify and share the issues they experienced and work for solutions through advocacy. One of the ways they do this is by educating others about the issues and improvements that need to be made.

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Hard Work Pays for Premier Florida Foster Child Advocacy Group

From Tallahassee to Main Street, Florida’s Children First enjoyed remarkable success over the past year in its mission to help the state’s vulnerable, abused and at-risk children. The organization and its supporters helped usher in several new laws and public interest efforts that together make life safer for Florida’s foster children and others. 

Among the initiatives, two bills the organization and its backers had proposed were made into law. They included the Counsel for Dependent Children with Special Needs (HB 561), which will help ensure legal counsel is provided to special-needs children in the state dependency system. The other was Juvenile Sentencing Reform (HB 7035), in which FCF served as part of a vital coalition of backers who helped advocate for the measure.

FCF also helped to get key language incorporated into important laws that were enacted this session. The language and bills included creation of a Website to Report Child Deaths or Neglect (SB 1666); Child-on-Child Sexual Assault (SB 1666); Services & Provision Tracking (SB 1666); and Accountability on Delivery of Services Through Community Alliance Boards (SB 1666).

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Central Florida Child Advocates to Celebrate Children, Supporters and Big Legislative Wins

Foster child advocates and supporters of at-risk children from across Central Florida will join Florida’s Children First, the state’s premier foster child advocacy organization, in September as FCF hosts its annual fundraiser and awards event. This year’s event will be special cause for cheer as advocates celebrate recent successes in the Florida Legislature – and the child advocates who help the state’s at-risk kids throughout the year.

Florida’s Children First 2014 Orlando Reception will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Law Offices of Broad & Cassel.

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Florida’s Children First to Host Two Fall Events for Foster Children Advocates

Florida’s Children First, the state’s premier foster child advocacy organization, will host its annual fundraisers and awards events in Orlando and Sarasota this fall. The events will celebrate recent successes in the Florida Legislature, and the child advocates who help the state’s at-risk kids throughout the year.

Florida’s Children First 2014 Orlando Reception will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Law Offices of Broad & Cassel.

Florida’s Children First 2014 Sarasota Reception will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Sarasota Yacht Club (1100 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 32436).

Continue reading for honorees and event details…

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Florida Youth SHINE in Action at the Capitol for Children’s Week

During Children’s Week, over 35 Florida Youth Shine advocates flooded the Capitol steps to speak to dozens of legislators, staff and public officials bringing awareness to the issues affecting the child welfare system and to advocate for children in and transitioning out of the foster care system.

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In Their Own Words…

“Through Florida Youth Shine I have been able to increase my self-esteem and further my goals in life by developing relationships. In FYS, I have been able to create long lasting relationships and establish a family.”
Chelsea Bramblett, 19, Pensacola Chapter Member

“Being a part of this was an amazing experience. I loved the fact that we are able to make a difference. I really admire what we are doing and it means a lot for me to do something that really makes a difference.”
Christian Aguilar, 18, Miami Chapter Member

“FYS helps change the foster care system by bringing awareness to the people who have no idea of what it means to be ‘in the System.'”
Caprice Blizzard, Pensacola Chamber Mentor

“The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met will forever be apart of who I am and who I’ve become.”
Jose Logrono, 23, Orlando Chapter Member

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Former Foster Children From Florida Youth Shine Speak Out at Statewide Events

What can you learn from a child or young adult? Listen and you’ll see. Members of Florida Youth Shine, who are current and former foster children, spent their summer speaking to child advocates throughout Florida, and working in the nation’s capital. They shared information about independent living legislation and other issues affecting foster kids.

The “Voice of the Youth” series took the young adults across the state to share their stories.

They spoke at trainings sessions, statewide committee meetings, and to the media that covers child advocacy issues.

In the past weeks, 22 Florida Youth Shine members actively participated in two workshops at The Department of Children and Families Child Dependency Summit in Orlando. There to learn, advocate and learn about leadership building, they also presented at workshops and served on panel discussions.

Among the events in which Florida Youth Shine members participated were:

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